Sunday, October 25, 2009


I waited eagerly for my baby girl to grow hair so I could do the most girly thing available to an infant female---add accessories!! But this little missy pulled every headband, bow, and barrett right off her head the moment it made contact. Finally, I gave up putting in the adorable fabric flowers my sister made and the cute little bows I had finally bought after more than a year of choosing not to spend $3 on something for my girl just because it was pretty.
Then, one day, everything changed and she wanted to wear it at once.
Hallelujah, accessories!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A survey

Do you ever have nights when, if it weren't illegal, (I'm assuming), and morally reprehensible, you'd just shoot your kids with a tranquilizer dart and drop them in bed?

I know my answer. What's yours?

Steve Carell got interviewed on the red carpet at the premiere of "Get Smart" and was asked what super power he'd want if he could have one. He chose being able to put the kids to bed in under 5 minutes. That would truly be a super power.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Count

My kids like Sesame Street. When we were on our school break, they saw it pretty much daily. Every single one of them can go, "Mwah Ha Ha!" just like the Count.
Last night at dinner, Squeaky Bean started chucking food off her tray, which is my cue to get her out. As I picked her up, she either deliberately kicked or accidentally knocked her tray, so the whole thing went down, pasta, brussel sprouts and all. I was super irritated at yet another mess to clean up and was fuming as I washed Squeaky's hands in the sink.
Then, from behind I heard Junior Mint say in the Count's voice, "One messy floor! Mwah Ha Ha!"
Perfect timing for comedy relief. I was chuckling about it all night.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Uncle Orson's Writing Conference

My sister and I went to a two day writer's conference conducted by Orson Scott Card in early August and it was sooo cool! Here are some pictures of things we did in Lexington, VA, for two days. Hurray for our supportive husbands who kept the kids!

Me looking studious while reading writer's samples after lunch.

Scary me! (I guess there are scary ghost tours in Lexington and non-scary ghost tours.)

Scary sister!

At the Natural Bridge...obviously.

My sister with Natural Bridge behind her. We couldn't go up on it. Bummer.

Me, Orson Scott Card, and my sister! What a cool two days! I think it saved me at least a year or two of wasted writing time. He's one of my super favorite authors!

What I don't have good pictures of because it was dark was a place called "FoamHenge." A local artist remade Stone Henge out of fiberglass and foam. So fun. If you're ever headed south on 81 towards Roanoke, take the Natural Bridge exit and go see "FoamHenge". (It's about a mile before Natural Bridge on a local road.) It's totally free and if you follow the trail further, you can see all kinds of foam sculptures. Go in the daytime, though, so your pictures will turn out.

Squeaky Bean

Here's my good little girl!

She wanted to wear an apron like Mommy!

Crazy face. That kid loves to eat!

Curly Fry put one of his ties on Squeaky Bean. (He LOVES them). She did not love it as much.

At the beach...she stole Junior Mint's chair.

Junior Mint

I can hardly believe Junior Mint will be 8 on Monday. He starts scouts tomorrow. I'll post pictures of that for sure. But til then, here are some of my favorite shots of Junior Mint from this summer.

Independence Day

Ice cream tradition at the Jersey Shore. Yum.

Soooo happy! And freezing cold from boogie boarding.

An Album Cover shot. He makes me take this kind of picture all the time. He's planning on being a professional musician (and hockey player, basketball player, football player and movie director) and he likes to be ready with his album cover shots. He gets very 'emo' in the covers sometimes.

Curly Fry

Here are a few shots of Curly Fry. Love that face! And the hair! Don't even get me started...

Happy guy with a snake puppet.

Junior Mint and Curly Fry play box roller-coaster. A big hit!

Daddy and Curly Fry on his first real roller coaster. Not such a big hit.


I've been offline so much of this summer there's no way I can really catch up with what's going on with our family and what we've done, so I'm just going to do a bunch of posts with lots of random pictures. Enjoy!

Squeaky Bean is getting to be such a big girl! The pigtails still kill me! Love them!
Curly Fry and his innertube. Happy Camper.

This is Junior Mint's poker face. Seriously. He was beating mom at cards.

Ahh. My cute honey and our little Squeaky Bean. Although, the way she's been lately, maybe she should be Screamy Bean or Climby Bean.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not a compliment?

Have you ever had someone say something to you that seemed like a compliment, but then later wondered if that's what it really was? This happened to me a lot in high school. People told me often that I looked "comfortable." I'm pretty sure that wasn't actually a compliment. Has anyone ever told you that? I doubt it.

Last week, I watched Squeaky Bean at a soccer game as she fell down, dropped her french fries on the asphalt, stood up, picked up her french fries and put them back in her mouth.

"At least you got your fries," I said. "Good girl."

The man standing next to me said, "You are a very laid back mother. Most of the moms I know would be freaking out."

"Yeah, well, I was one of six growing up. I'm pretty relaxed," I responded modestly, secretly feeling smug to have avoided the panicky 'new mom' stage.

About a minute later, I thought, "Maybe that's not a compliment."

What do you think?

At least it's better than getting a slightly cushioned criticism. Ever have someone say something completely rude to you and then add, "No offense," like those two words were a magic eraser for the awful thing they just said? I still remember riding the bus home from school in the springtime of my 4th grade year. I was wearing shorts, sitting on the sticky brown vinyl seat and my legs were shaking with the force of the bumpy road and diesel engine. That's when my friend turned to me and said, "Your legs are flopping like a flounder out of the water. No offense."

Sunday, May 3, 2009


the crime

the culprit

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Junior Mint and I are working on pronouns in English. We are also working on not yelling at each other when we do school. (It's tough for us not to argue a lot since our personalities are so similar). Today, I got so mad about his nasty attitude that I left the room. Junior Mint stayed and did more of his English. He was supposed to be writing sentences using the 8 pronouns he's learned. Here are two of his sentences:

He hates his Mom.
She hates her Mom.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Movie Moment

You know that classic movie moment where a girl and a boy are running rapturously towards each other in a field of clover and wild flowers? (In slow-mo, of course). Well, I had a moment that's way better with my little Curly Fry last week.

We were on a local high school track having some family time. The boys were running around and my HubbaHubba and I were enjoying a leisurely stroll with a half-full double stroller. Curly Fry decided to catch up with us.

So, I turned and there he was, joyously running towards me down the track, his little legs going as fast as they could, a huge grin on his sweet little face. I ran towards him with my arms out, ready to scoop him up. When we met up, I picked him up. He squeezed me tight around my neck in a way only a little monkey of a kid can. I kissed his sweet curls. He squealed in delight and held on tight.

Perfect. Better than any movie.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Losing Doctors?

Several years ago, there was a major exodus of obstetricians out of the medical field because malpractice insurance had become so high. Now, more doctors will likely be forced out because President Obama is pursuing regulations (or the removal of regulations) that will force many conscientious medical professionals and hospitals to either perform abortions or quit practicing.

It's interesting...I didn't think gay marriage and abortion rights had anything to do with each other, but now there is a common thread--the people pursuing expanded abortion rights and gay marriage rights both seek not to only have their voice heard, but to silence all dissidents. The way gay marriage law is written, it truly endangers the religious freedoms of churches that oppose it. Now, the way abortion law is being written, it endangers the rights of medical professionals to practice according to their own conscience--particularly in regard to the credo 'Do no harm'. I hadn't thought to talk about serious subjects again so soon, but it seems this subject has a deadline, April 9th. Please go to the link below from which I'll now be quoting:
You have a vitally important opportunity to immediately send a message to prevent a critical loss of access to healthcare professionals who are being systematically pressured to violate ethical standards. Here's what's been happening:

In August 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) took long-overdue action to address a growing crisis of abortion-related discrimination that could force thousands of conscientious healthcare professionals out of medicine. After several months of public comment on its proposed regulation, in December 2008 HHS finalized a regulation that made clear the protections offered by three civil rights laws passed by Congress with bipartisan support.

The civil rights laws declare that American tax dollars will not fund programs in which healthcare professionals are fired, penalized or otherwise subjected to discrimination because of their ethical stance related to abortion and other morally controversial issues.

However, in March 2009, following protests from abortion special interest groups, the new administration officially declared plans to rescind--get rid of--the conscience-protecting regulation. The administration has, as required by law, called for public comment on the proposed plan to get rid of the conscience-protecting regulation, with a deadline of April 9, 2009.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Soap Box: Abortion and Gay Marriage (totally unrelated)

My friend just brought up some hugely hot topics (gun control, abortion, and gay marriage) on her blog and I left such a long comment, I decided to just post it on here, too. I'd been planning about talking about some of these things in-depth, with links and such, but haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe I still will. But here are some of my thoughts on abortion and gay marriage based on my core values and the many articles I've read. There just aren't any hyperlinks like I would've used if I had more time.


I am pro-life. I absolutely believe in choices. I just also believe in accountability. If you know having sex can get you pregnant and you do it willingly anyway, you had your choice and made your decision and you should face the consequences. I don't mean pregnancy is a punishment, but why should a girl be able to kill her fetus because it's inconvenient? When you play Russian roulette, sometimes you get shot. Sometimes, when you have sex, you get pregnant.

I think it's ridiculous that pregnant girls are so negatively stereotyped and socially punished. Their actions have been the same as all their sexually active friends, but they ended up pregnant. It's stupid to get punished for a consequence and not a behavior. Those girls need compassion and direction and friendship.

Adoption is a wonderful thing and girls who place unplanned babies for adoption are less likely to become pregnant again. It's great for the babies, too. Neither of those things can be said for abortion. People are using it like birth control. I think that's wrong. It's just accountability avoidance.

I also don't believe abortion is a privacy issue, which is what Roe v. Wade is based on.

From a more financial point of view, it ticks me off that abortions are often paid for by the government, but when I had a DNC because of a miscarriage a couple years ago, it cost me $4000. A DNC is essentially an abortion, but without the added cost of killing the baby first. If you look into Planned Parenthood's financials, you'll see they profit hugely from the abortion business and it is money, not "women's rights" that is their primary motivation.

Gay Marriage:

I think people in homosexual relationships should absolutely be able to visit each other in the hospital and be on insurance policies with each other, etc. That doesn't have anything to do with the government, though. The hospitals and insurance companies are in charge of those policies.

The government does have power over civil unions and they seem to work fine. When Melissa Etheridge was on Oprah talking about Prop 8 backlash, she said the only real difference between her civil union with her partner and legal marriage was that it made tax issues more complex for them. Um...big deal.

Marriage is a different issue from civil unions because of the legal consequences to religious groups who don't condone it. They will be persecuted and prosecuted if gay marriage is considered a civil liberty and they refuse to perform the marriages. They'll lose tax exempt status and sometimes even the right to perform traditional marriages.

Gay marriage is an issue because if something is considered a civil liberty or right, it won't be an issue to be discussed in sex ed, where parents who disagree can opt their kids out, but included in diversity classes and whatever other aspects of class a teacher chooses, without even having to inform parents what's being taught. (This happens in Massachusetts).

Gay marrage is not a civil rights issue because marriage is highly legislated already--there are age limits, blood tests in some states, and rules about how closely related you can be to your spouse. If such a socially foundational institution as marriage could be based only on sexual relationships instead of as a conduit for growing and rearing a responsible population, then it swings the door wide open legally to rights for pedophiles, incestuous relationships, bigamy and polygamy; I'm not a fan of any of those options. (Additionally, just money-wise, our states can't afford to give the married tax status to homosexual couples).

Gay marriage is an issue because if you believe in God, you should do your best to make sure the laws of the land reflect God's own laws--not because you want to force your views on others, but because it is your right as a citizen to vote for what you believe in. Many of our fundamental laws are based in the 10 Commandments and they've been working out so far. (The burden of proof for changing law should be on the people who want to change it, not the historically tested law.)What is righteous is also what is right. If most people share your beliefs and vote for them, that should be law. When the majority of the people choose wickedness, I believe it is their right, but there will be unfortunate consequences. If Prop 8 had lost the vote, I would've been sad, but respected the democratic process. If judges overturn the will of the majority of the people, I think that is wrong. It wasn't intended in our checks and balances system--judicial, executive, legislative--that anyone should have power over the people themselves. When judges take authority on themselves to do so, it reminds me of the corrupt judges from the Book of Mormon who lead the people to wickedness with their sophistry and conspiracy.

Additionally, people who believe the New Testament teaches that Christ condoned homosexuality are irresponsibly misinterpreting scripture. There is a vast difference between loving the sin and loving the sinner despite the sin.

It bothers me that some people will read this post and think I'm homophobic. I'm not. I think in general, I'm very "live and let live", but there are social and legal consequences that I find unacceptable with the advent of gay marriage. I think it's a shame that anyone who thoughtfully follows their conscience should be branded a bigot for disagreeing with someone else who may be louder. That said, I totally understand why lots of people disagree with my positions on these issues. I respect their views and I respect them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Great News!

Picture from Squeaky Bean's 1st birthday party.

We just got the best sort of mail from the Chesterfield County Circuit Court in Virginia. It's an envelope filled with formal copies of Squeaky Bean's Final Order of Adoption. Woohoo!! Her adoption is finally final! We can plan a sealing date now! And a blessing date! I am so excited!!!

Of course, we still have the bureaucratic mess of applying for a birth certificate and social security number and amending our taxes, etc. But the most important stuff is done!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reminiscing: Making Plans

Several years ago, I was having a bad day. Normally, when things are going crummy, I don't feel any need to take it out on God. (That's ungrateful). But that day, for just a while, I was starting to think his plan for my life stunk.

We had just experienced our fourth miscarriage. I was still a little ticked from the third one, which happened to manifest on the very anniversary of the day our daughter had died the previous year. (Irony can be funny or depressing; that time, it was the latter).

I started complaining to my sweet husband. "This is too much!" I said. "I want to just get pregnant and actually have a healthy baby." He tried to comfort me. He, of course, was also sad and frustrated.

"We need a plan", I said. I thought if we made some kind of detailed outline of our demands to God, they would somehow work out better.

"We have a plan," said my kind, faithful husband. "Our plan is that we pray; we read the scriptures; we go to Church; we pay our tithing; we attend the Temple."

I sulked outwardly while his words took root. "I mean I want a 'let's get a baby' plan," I complained.

But I knew he was right. My surly defiance at God's apparent disinterest dissolved. Obedience really is the only plan that makes sense. We choose to obey and we follow through. Everything else is subject to forces beyond our control.

Sometimes the things we want and work for happen and we think, "Look what I did." But when you spend a lot of time and effort and faith on something that never materializes, you realize how fortunate you were those other times--how many things are beyond your power to control and how much Heavenly Father blesses you just because you ask and always because he loves you.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge recently gave a profoundly straightforward address at General Conference called The Way. I'll quote just a part.

The Lord’s way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. “There is an opposition in all things,”21 everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices.22 We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier?

There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way is foolishness.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Be Forewarned...

When I was a much younger girl, I would write essays. Essays about poems. Essays about stories I read. Essays about movies that affected me. I think I wrote 3 pages when I saw The Dead Poets Society. I wrote at least 7 pages about Dances With Wolves. I didn't ever show anyone my essays; it just made me feel better to talk through my feelings in that way. An essay is also a good place for a self-righteous rant, especially if you don't expect anyone to read it.

I've decided to start writing some of those essays once again and I guess I'll post them here. But I don't want to catch you in a tirade unawares, so if I'm going to write a rant of any kind, the title will say Soapbox: and then whatever it is I'm writing about. I may, for instance, watch Juno again this week and write a post called Soapbox: Juno. I just wanted to give you a heads-up.

I really love having friends who disagree with some of my political and religious views--or most of them. And I love to hear how those views differ as long as they're expressed kindly. There are a lot of really smart people who see the world from a completely different angle than I do. I like to know what their angle is. Seeing as how my day-to-day world is so very small, I really enjoy mind-expanding, viewpoint-enlightening discussions. They can be hard to come by, but they always make my world feel bigger and more interesting. So, whether you agree or not, I'd like to know about it. Thanks.

Crafty Pass Along

This is a crafy little pass-along game. Here's how it works. Be one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on this post and I will send you a handmade gift sometime in the next 6 months. I have no idea what can make suggestions if you like.

Then you pay it forward as well by doing the same thing for 3 people on your blog. Once you leave a comment telling me that you want to participate, you need to make a pay it forward post on your blog, then come back and let me know that you've posted. Got it? I'm excited to see how this one goes! My friends are all so talented. =)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An unusually short post...

Last night, I caught the opening of the local Channel 9 news. The lead story was newsworthy, but the second? Not Obama signing the massive bailout into law...

With a straight face, the newsman said, (and here I quote), "Is your man a sloppy kisser?"
I changed the channel. I figure I can pick up Teen magazine next time I'm out if the kissing issue becomes urgent.

(By the way, my man's a fabulous kisser).

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Squeaky Bean will turn 1 later this month. I know. It's shocking. And lately, I've been able to sense a change in her vibe. She's much less like a baby and more like a GIRL every day. It is awesome. I feel a little badly about it, but I'm way more psyched for her birthday than I have been for the boys', because you just give them another ball and a truck and they're set. But girls come with ACCESSORIES!!! So, I've been obsessed lately with what kinds of accessories I could make for her first birthday...great big flower headbands? a tiara? a baby doll? A tutu?


So, after looking at dozens and dozens of types of tutus on and googling different tutu patterns, I went with my sweet friend, Emily, to Walmart, mulled over tulle color combinations, and spent the day at her house making tutus for our girls. Here are a few pictures from our fun day.

Big flapper hairpiece, huh?

Whose tutu is floofier?

Sweet Squeaky Bean in her birthday tutu a little early.

The only problem is, I thought the tutu would BE her birthday present, but seeing her in it makes me feel like she needs even more accessories to complete the look...a wand, a hat, some leg warmers? a My Little Pony? Don't the colors just scream My Little Pony? Just one wouldn't hurt, right?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baby Junior Mint: Reminiscing...

A few times since we adopted Curly Fry, people have compared his seemingly buff little stature to the long, lean frame of 7 year old Junior Mint and suggested that Curly Fry will end up as the bigger of the two when they're older. Maybe. It doesn't matter to me. But for those of you who didn't ever see Junior Mint as a baby, here he is... 10 lbs. by the time we left the hospital, 12 lbs. at his two week check-up and 16 lbs. at 4 months, with no neck until he was 8 months old. The only disadvantage of marrying a tall man is carrying the tall man's huge baby. =) My body hasn't been the same since, but it was worth it. =)

Just before delivery: Here's why I've never been the same...8 lb. 15 oz. of baby in there.

You could only see his neck if he leaned back like this.

He was a happy big guy.

Squeaky Bean still wears this outfit sometimes and she's nearly one. Junior Mint wasn't even 2 months old here.

This is why I hardly ever put him in pants...he looked squeezed like a sausage. Poor guy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Going deaf

Today I ground about 40 lbs. of wheat into flour with my awesome BlendTec wheat mill. Unfortunately, my filter was gone, so my enitre house is now coated in a fine white film. Junior Mint walked into the living room earlier and asked where all the smoke was coming from. I had to open a window and turn on the ceiling fan to clear the air. I guess it's a good thing I never got to mopping the floor last night like I planned because I'm going to need to do it tonight. Although, if I were a better housekeeper, I'd do it every night.

Do you ever find that your children have a special gift for understanding when you're actually trying to accomplish something and do their best to thwart you? If I have a completely lazy day and read a book on the couch for hours, everyone seems to get along fine and keep things quiet. If I start doing a deep clean or cooking or talking on the phone, the kids all go berserk. Just a few minutes ago, as I talked to my sister, Curly Fry held onto one of my legs while Junior Mint held onto my waist and they both tried to knock the other off. Everyone was yelling and Squeaky Bean was just coming to join the action. I thought my ears were sore from having the wheat mill go for so long today (loud motor), but the children screaming is much worse. Now, both boys are climbing on my back yelling, "My Mommy!" right in my ears and Squeaky Bean is on my feet, crying. I guess I'd better go.

As much as I treasure my children, and truly believe that each of them is a sacred trust from God, they can make me crazy. Do you ever have trouble feeling the sanctifying power of motherhood? Man, I do.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Geneva's Birthday

Geneva Kate, wearing her dad's wedding ring as a bracelet.

The boys and I made a chocolate chip pound cake this afternoon. Yum! It's Geneva's birthday cake. Most of you didn't get a chance to meet Geneva because she only lived for 9 days, but she would have been 6 years old today. I say would have and not should have because I know she lived for exactly the amount of time God wanted her to. I wouldn't change how things happened. But I miss my daughter every day just the same.

It used to be that having and losing a child was something that I talked about all the time. I think maybe I wanted to reassure myself that I had really had her. It was a way for me to possess her and prove she had been mine because I never did get to bring her home from the hospital. (It is a crummy feeling to go the hospital pregnant and come home un-pregnant with no baby to show for it--like it didn't happen at all.) Maybe it was because Grieving Mother was such a huge part of my identity for the first couple years and I didn't think someone could understand me if they didn't know about my lost girl. Sometimes, I talked about her because a stranger would ask how many children I had and I would say two, then explain the reason they only saw one kid with me was because the other had died. I realized this made them feel uncomfortable, but Geneva could have peeked in on me at a moment like that and think I'd forgotten her if she weren't mentioned. That idea seemed horrible.

Eventually, I grew comfortable with the idea that she knew I loved her and missed her. I became more things than Grieving Mother once again. I learned that people are irreplaceable. I learned that grief carves out holes in our souls, making more room for the joy that will eventually come, filling in the empty spaces. I learned that people assume you are strong because something bad has happened to you.

"Oh, you must be so strong," people would say when they found out my daughter died.
"I don't feel strong," I would think. "I feel like singed paper; I could crumple in on myself right here and be blown away by the breeze," I wouldn't say. There was no point in arguing with them. I didn't have the energy for it anyway.

My own theory is that when we most need to change, something terrible happens that can't help but change us. My other theory is that some things just don't get explained in this life and learning to stop looking for a reason is the point. I learned that terrible things are also really wonderful. I learned that moving forward is different than moving on and that part of moving forward sometimes involves stopping. And crying. But enough about me. I want you to know a little bit about Geneva.

Geneva means juniper. The juniper plant is one of the most tenacious in the world, clinging to life against all odds even in hostile environments. (Her dad knew this should be her name the instant we knew she was a girl, long before she was born.)
Kate means pure. (She was certainly that.)

Geneva Kate had a rough entry into life. At only 20 weeks in-utero, all the amniotic fluid cushioning and protecting her tiny body inexplicably whooshed out, leaving her fragile skull pressed mercilessly against her mom's pelvic bones. Her little lungs lost the opportunity to practice moving in and out with fluid, preparing them for the air to come. Her mom's doctor told her there was very little chance she'd survive to be born at all. He said most babies in that situation didn't make it past 2 weeks in-utero and that terminating the pregnancy was a valid option. Her mother and father disagreed. So, Geneva and her mom spent the next month hanging out on the couch, laying down at all times. It wasn't fun, but at least they were together. Then, Geneva's placenta ruptured, so she spent the next month with her mom on a hospital bed with monitors and wires and nurses who didn't know what privacy means.

Miraculously, Geneva, the scrapper, lasted 8 weeks in-utero without any infections before being born at 28 weeks. She weighed about 3 1/2 lbs. and was 13 inches long. She had a pretty good head of light brown hair--just like her big brother's. When she was born around 5:30 a.m. on January 30, she was whisked away to be cleaned off and given a temporary oxygen mask before being brought back to her mother. In the hallway, she cried once. It was the only time her mom ever heard that sound. Back with her mom, Geneva looked up into her eyes and her mom knew she was smart. It was the only time she ever opened her eyes and saw her mom. Then she was taken by very capable and loving nurses to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she would spend the remainder of her life. In the first 24 hours, her heart stopped and both her lungs collapsed and a geneticist informed her parents that she most likely had Down Syndrome. It was a long first day. Everything about Geneva's life felt both long with struggle and short in time.

All the medical things that had to be done to keep Geneva alive are blurred in my memory now, but they were not pleasant. She was so helpless. However, she did manage to squeeze her dad's finger once. Geneva was on strong paralytics to help her keep the tubes in her lungs and the IV in her head in place. She couldn't even open her eyes or move her tongue. But she managed to squeeze her dad's finger and he knew she knew he was there. In the hospital, when she could find her voice to speak, her mom told Geneva how many people loved her. Her mom prayed over her and read aloud to her from 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott. Her mom thinks she liked it. Geneva died at 11:58 p.m. on February 8th.

Geneva, squeezing her dad's finger.
It seems clear from her story what a fighter Geneva was, but you can't know yet about her other dominant quality. She was the most peaceful person I have ever known. I'm an antsy sort of person in general. You would think that I'd be going completely berserk laying flat on my back for 2 months, but most of the time I felt calm. I didn't even drum my fingers the way I've done compulsively since I was at least 15. I had thought it was the Holy Ghost, calming and comforting me through my trials and I'm sure He was there, too, but as I walked out of the hospital just after letting Geneva go, all my fidgetiness came back. It was only then that I realized it was her presence that was so soothing. Everything about her life was stressful, but I was always calmest when I was with her--wires, beeping monitors, and bustling nurses notwithstanding. That's what I miss most about her--how good it felt to just be near her.

While I held Geneva in my lap during what I knew would be her last hours in mortality, I wrote a little song for her. All my children have one. Here is Geneva's song. It's what we'll sing before we eat her birthday cake. The dashes represent our 2 syllable last name.

Geneva Kate -- --, our precious little girl,
Geneva Kate -- --, we're thankful you came to this world,
To teach us to be humble, to show us purity.
Though your body is so frail, your spirit strengthens me.

Geneva Kate -- --, our precious little girl,
Geneva Kate -- --, we're thankful you came to this world.
We'll do our best to be like you and live with God again.
We're thankful we know it's true that families never end.

Geneva Kate -- --, our perfect little girl,
Geneva Kate -- --, we're thankful you came to this world.
Our family: 6 years and 8 days ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cutest Baby Picture Vote

The Live With Regis and Kelly show is having a Beautiful Baby contest. Of course, we're entering our Curly Fry. Who can beat that hair?! (It's for kids 6 months to 4 years old. We're not entering Squeaky Bean because there would be legal issues since her adoption is not yet final.) Anyway, we can't decide what our favorite picture is and we could use your help! Would you please look at the pictures here and then vote on the poll at the left to help us decide which picture to submit? The contest is ending soon, so please let us know quickly! Thanks!

Sailor Boy

J Crew ad

Cupie Doll

the Face

Sooo happy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bow Giveaway

My cute friend, Millie makes the most delicious little bows and hats. She's doing a giveaway on her blog until Wednesday. Here's the link. It's linked on the side, too, if that doesn't work for some reason.

I'm doing the giveaway thing for two reasons. 1) Millie's about the most crafty, organized person I've ever met, and if you have little girls, you'll love her bows. 2) Squeaky Bean will be 1 YEAR OLD a month from yesterday and the girl needs some serious accessories! I can hardly believe it! So, I'm hoping to win some rad bows for her by posting about it here. (Don't judge me for selling out. I'm on a spending moratorium until May.)

Friday, January 23, 2009


I love iTunes.

My nice honey got me an iTunes gift card for Christmas and I had so much fun last week looking up new music and artists. Junior Mint got his own gift card (for his shiny new ipod shuffle) and together we made some fun discoveries. Below is a list of some of my favorites. Look 'em up or listen to the ones on my playlist. Tell me what you think! Then maybe you can tell me the last few things you've downloaded. I love music recommendations even more than I love new books.

1. M79 by Vampire Weekend (punk with a harpsichord. awesome.)

2. Stefano Barone (Look this guy up on youtube. The way he plays guitar is beautiful to see and hear.)

3. You Don't Know Me At All by the Weepies (All of their songs so far, really. Pop folk. Some are on the playlist below.)

4. Saint Behind the Glass by Los Lobos (You'll recognize this if you liked Nach Libre.)

5. G. Love (He's not new to me, but he's got a cool new album. Seriously--look this guy up. He helped get Jack Johnson going.)

6. Jai Ho from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. (It's got a lot of artists and is also on the playlist below. Great dance music. Nice Indian flair.)

7. Alicia Keys. (Not new...she's my music idol. Listen to some of my fav's below. Karmastition is made for dancing. Love her.)

8. There are so many free podcasts, but one I like is Dan Carlin's Extreme History. Episode # 18, an interview with James Burke is my favorite so far. He's no historian, but is very accessible.

In an unrelated aside, you should click on the Seriously So Blessed link in the Blogs I Dig section on the left. We're voting for the winner of her awesome makeover contest. Unfortunately the girl I nominated didn't make it, but some other really great girls did. It's a good time to be in Utah for them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did I say that?

Do you ever find yourself saying things as a parent that you never expected to hear come out of your mouth? I remember first having this discussion with my older sister when she was forced to instruct her young daughter, "Don't eat the poo!" and "Don't flush the bunny down the toilet!"

Today, I had to tell Curly Fry "No cars in the guitar!" while I struggled to get the little matchbox car out through the soundhole of my guitar. (That's what I get for leaving it out, I guess.)

What kinds of things have you been surprised to tell your children?

Book Club

We finally started a book club! We met for the first time today and didn't even decide what we would read next month for sure, but we had a lot of fun. Our blog will be Awesome. Any suggestions for a fun romance for us to read in the hearty month of February?

Getting the new blog ready made me reevaluate my old one. Jennie Mathews likes to change things up constantly and I haven't changed mine since I here it is...the new blog. I don't think I could put the time in to change it all the time. Lots of work!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update and Funny Stories

A lot of lovely people have been asking for an update on Squeaky Bean. I'm sorry I was negligent on that account. She is doing beautifully and seems to be fully recovered from her pneumonia. We were in the hospital for 6 days and we are so glad it wasn't any longer. It is much nicer to be home together. The other boys are all on the mend as well except my cute honey, but I think his cold will be gone soon.

Funny Story #1: About 6 days ago, Curly Fry came and took my Book of Mormon, put a toy horse on it and carried it from the room like it was a silver platter. A minute later, he came back all proud smiles and gave me a high five. I haven't found my Book of Mormon yet....

Funny Story #2: We watched 'A Night at the Museum' a few times this week. It's lots of fun and we're looking forward to the sequel this May. (We'll make homeschooling trips to the Smithsonian before it comes out!) Anyway, Junior Mint has latched onto a couple of lines from the movie. He got one of them wrong, though. He was acting snarky and said to me, "I'm forever and you're dead!" (a la-I'm rubber and you're glue...) I laughed so hard he got angry with me and left the room. "What did he mean" you may be asking? The movie line was, "I'm forever in your debt." Such a subtle difference...

Friday, January 16, 2009


5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
-Wishing HubbaHubba were home from his mission, while I dated a dead-ender.
-Playing in the classical guitar ensemble at BYU. (Don't be impressed. I was the worst one.)
-Still trying to major in music.
-Exercising A LOT more.
-Working at a blender factory in Lindon, UT.

5 things on my To-Do list today:
-Be a better homeschooler. (like my homeschool hero, Karen)
-Do the dishes.
-Clean my room.
-Listen to more of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. (the Percy Jackson series)
-Play guitar.

5 snacks that I LOVE:
-My chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies.
-Apple slices.
-Salad without dressing--best eaten by hand. (weird?)
-Home made soft pretzels.

5 Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
-Pay off all our debt and our family member's and beloved friends debt.
-Set up charitable foundations: a fund to help good couples adopt children, a scholarship at BYU, a fund to pay for processing of all the backed-up rape kits across America, give to the Alliance Defense fund.
-Take all my girlfriends on a shopping spree with Stacy and Clinton to help us!!
-Get a personal trainer and a babysitter.
-Send my husband back to school so he can study whatever he wants and not work 3 jobs.

I tag: Lori, Emily Roper, my sister Emily, Laura, Shawna, Jennie, Meg, Karen

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sad Squeaky Bean

I was planning on posting last week about my New Year's resolutions. I got derailed...

Squeaky Bean has been in the hospital since Sunday night with RSV and pneumonia. I just came home today for the first time since Sunday... We're hoping Squeaky Bean (the baby girl) will be able to come home tomorrow, but that's what we've hoped for the last couple days. She is doing better, just not good enough to be well at home, yet.

Last night when the excellent nurse turned Sqeaky's oxygen back on because her oxygen levels were falling into the low 80's, I was like, "What?! 84 isn't so bad! That's totally a B!" I guess grading scales and oxygen levels don't have a direct relationship.

She has to be eating on her own, breathing on her own, and keeping her temperature down before she can leave. We're 1 for 3 right now.

I was also going to post about all the completely free things that make me happy... I'll save that big list for later. But it definitely makes me happy that my Hubba Hubba took off every day this week to care for our boys (who are also sick, but not as bad as Sqeaky) and that his lovely mom also took off work and has been here since Wednesday afternoon to help us. What a nice Grammie. And for all the generous people who have been bringing us food and calling to check up on us, Thanks! We really appreciate you.

On a more positive note, Squeaky has learned to wave and make kissy sounds since she's been in the hospital--though not at the same time yet. =)